Background Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is one of the most common causes of infection after solid organ transplantation with symptomatic disease occurring at an incidence of 20% to 40% without preventative measures. Although CMV donor+/recipient-serostatus is well known to be a risk factor, there is little data about other risk factors for CMV infection in the setting of pediatric liver transplantation (LT). We hypothesized that fulminant hepatic failure (FHF) may be a risk factor for CMV infection given anecdotal reports of complications associated with FHF. Methods We conducted medical chart review of children who underwent LT at a tertiary children's hospital in Tokyo between November 2005 and October 2015. We evaluated the risk factors, especially FHF, and prognosis for CMV infection under preemptive therapy. Results Three hundred thirty-seven living donor LT were analyzed. Underlying diseases were cholestatic liver disease (n = 172, 51%), metabolic disease (n = 59, 18%), and FHF (n = 51, 15%). Among 337 LT, 147 (44%) recipients developed CMV antigenemia. In multivariate analysis, FHF (odds ratio, 4.99; 95% confidence interval, 1.86-13.40; P = 0.001) and CMV serostatus were independent risk factors for developing CMV antigenemia. Positive donor serostatus was significantly associated with development of antigenemia within 1-year post-LT regardless of recipient serostatus (P <0.001). On the other hand, positive recipient status was associated with CMV antigenemia in the first 21 days (P <0.001). Only 12 (3.6%) of 337 children developed CMV disease. Conclusions Fulminant hepatic failure was found to be a risk factor for CMV infection independent of CMV serostatus.
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